RUSH — U.S. Rep. Chris Collins hosted press conferences in the Rochester and Hamburg areas on Monday to tout newly-sponsored legislation that the Republican says would essentially repeal the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act of 2013 — the NY-SAFE Act — on a federal level.
The proposed law, called the Second Amendment Guarantee Act, would restrict the power states have to regulate and tax shotguns or rifles.
Speaking at the Rochester Brooks Gun Club in Rush, Collins said, "This legislation would declare null and void the SAFE Act as it applies to rifles and shotguns used by sportsmen and hunters."
Collins' SAGA bill would supersede New York's SAFE Act on issues like high-capacity ammunition clips and what the current law calls assault weapons, meaning semi-automatic rifles with features like pistol grips.
"What our governor has done is, through the SAFE Act, tried to define rifles and shotguns as assault weapons, and I would challenge the governor or anyone else to even find a true definition of what an assault weapon is. Because it doesn't exist," said Collins, whose 27th District includes the western half of Ontario County, including Canandaigua, Farmington and Victor.
In response to Collins' proposal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement praising the SAFE Act for its work to "ban assault weapons from coming into the state, ban high capacity magazines and keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill, while safeguarding the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners."
"Now, in a blatant political ploy, Chris Collins is turning his back on New Yorkers and putting millions of people at profound risk," Cuomo stated. "By fighting to roll back vital legislation that protects the people of the Empire State, Collins is demonstrating once again that he is beholden to no one but the gun lobby and entrenched special interests.
"This disturbing bill puts New Yorkers in harm's way — and to make it worse, there is no basis for it. None. The courts have resoundingly upheld New York's law as consistent with the Constitution. We understand that Washington is in turmoil right now — we just ask that they don't do anything to set back the progress we've been able to make despite them."